Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Obama CYA On KXL? President’s Once Soaring Rhetoric On Moral Urgency Of Climate Action Crash Lands

Posted on  

"Obama CYA On KXL? President’s Once Soaring Rhetoric On Moral Urgency Of Climate Action Crash Lands"

Share:

google plus icon

Once upon a time there was a second term President who understood that the science was in on the danger posed by carbon pollution.

This visionary understood “heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent and more intense” as he made clear in his State of The Union Address: “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”

This leader spoke boldly of our moral obligation to act on climate in his second inaugural address: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.

But, lo, a few months passed and he visited the Jersey Shore, much of which is still rebuilding from superstorm Sandy, yet his extended remarks made no mention whatsoever of climate change.

Then, just yesterday, he offered up these uber-lame comments at a California fundraiser:

When it comes to what I think will be one of the most important decisions that we make as a nation — this generation makes — the issue of climate change, we’re not going to be able to make those changes solely through a bunch of individual decisions that are made. We’re going to have to make some collective decisions about how much do we care about this when the science is irrefutable. And that means government is going to have a role to play in helping to organize clean energy research, and making sure that we’re taking into account the pollution that we’re sending into the air and that we’re encouraging new ways of delivering energy and using it more efficiently. We’re going to have a role to play.

“We’re going to have to make some collective decisions about how much do we care about this when the science is irrefutable…. We’re going to have a role to play”? What the hell happened to the guy who said:

But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

This latest Presidential gobbledygook sounds a lot like preemptive cover-your-ass DC-speak for “I’m going to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.”

And what the heck does this even mean: “when the science is irrefutable”? The fossil-fuel-funded disinformers already refute the irrefutable and will do so long past the time it is too late to stop catastrophe. What happened to the guy who spoke of accepting “the overwhelming judgment of science”?

For the record, the National Academy of Sciences explained back in 2010 that man-made global warming is a “settled fact“:

From a philosophical perspective, science never proves anything—in the manner that mathematics or other formal logical systems prove things—because science is fundamentally based on observations.

Any scientific theory is thus, in principle, subject to being refined or overturned by new observations.

In practical terms, however, scientific uncertainties are not all the same. Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small.

Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.

Since 2010, the science attributing the unequivocal warming of the planet to fossil-fuel pollution has grown even stronger. It’s now considered “highly likely” that all of the observed warming since 1950 is manmade (and “extremely likely” that most of the warming is manmade).

Climate science keeps getting stronger — as does our warming-driven extreme weather — but Obama’s rhetoric and moral urgency appears to be getting weaker and weaker.

« »

76 Responses to Obama CYA On KXL? President’s Once Soaring Rhetoric On Moral Urgency Of Climate Action Crash Lands

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Thank Goodness: Neera Tanden (CAP President)

    I saw CAP’s President, Neera Tanden, on Hardball with Chris Matthews last night.

    Why do I say “Thank Goodness”? Because, in looking at Neera’s background on CAP’s site, I was excited to see that she must have a remarkably close and direct relationship with Hillary Clinton! My goodness, Neera has worked with and for Hillary extensively, in roles that must certainly have involved a very direct, close, and trusting relationship.

    Remember the concept of “six degrees of separation”? Well, it seems that there’s only One degree of separation between Neera and Hillary. That should be very good for the climate movement, right, at least presumably? Joe and CAP and Neera ought to be able to convince Hillary not only of the vital importance of addressing climate change (if she doesn’t already appreciate that importance enough), but also, we ought to be able to find out, concretely and forthrightly, where Hillary stands on climate change, and what she would do to Lead the country to address climate change if elected.

    To begin with, as I’ve proposed before, I think we should begin to ask, and press upon, Hillary this concrete and timely question ASAP: “If you were president today, how would you rule regarding Keystone XL? Would you approve it or deny approval? Please be clear, specific, and decisive. Thanks!”

    The sooner we begin to ask such questions, and the more (and louder) we ask them, the sooner we will impress upon Hillary that we are serious about climate change, the sooner we will learn how she responds and what she thinks, and the sooner we will demonstrate to all would-be Democratic nominees for president that we want a candidate who is clear, committed, compelling, and courageous when it comes to climate change and how we should address it.

    I urge readers here to read Neera Tanden’s bio on CAP’s website. She has been in and out of CAP as well as in the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and President Obama, in addition to the extensive work she’s done with Hillary. In my view, CAP ought to be able to have an important and helpful influence on Hillary with respect to the most important issue of all at this point, climate change; and CAP also ought to be able to help the American public (and progressives) find out, and understand, Hillary’s views on the topic in clear and concrete terms, well in advance of the primary processes and all that. In other words, well in advance of the need to determine whether Hillary is the right nominee, or whether the climate movement needs to help identify and enlist better candidates.

    Let’s note the close “one degree of separation” between CAP’s President and Hillary Clinton; and as progressives, let’s utilize that in positive and proactive ways to help propel the climate movement forward.

    Thank Goodness. And let’s not make the same mistake twice.

    Jeff

    • George Leveto Sr. says:

      Jeff, just in case you’ve failed to notice there is no need to try to evaluate anyone by their statements, look what Obama has said and done. It seems as though these candidates for public office see reason to lie to their constituents its a totally righteous experience for them its just their moral obligation to do it. the only way to get around this is to inspect their background, or in plain words a background check, the only true leader in this group is Al Gore, he was robbed by the Bush family of his right to be president, and can you even imagine our world without Bush or Obama? Super far cry from the reality we now live in.

      • Sasparilla says:

        Good points George. Obama was a stronger climate change action speaker prior to the 2008 election than Mrs. Clinton was. Mrs. Clinton’s action since then have not been good.

        Mrs. Clinton was Sec State when the when the Keystone 1 and Alberta Clipper tar sands pipelines were approved by her (and the President) in the summer of 2009.

        Mrs. Clinton was Sec State when the follow up Keystone XL proposal was coming through her office for original rubber stamping (where her office chose the prime consultant for TransCanada to write the environmental impact statement for Sec State’s evaluation of whether the XL was okay or not).

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      With Obama you have already made the same mistake, twice. Clinton, believe me, would be number three.

  2. john atcheson says:

    Dear Mr. President:

    You suggest that the time to act is “….when the science is irrefutable.”

    That happened some time ago. We are now in the realm of irreversible, and you, sir, are well into the realm of irresponsible.

    Screw up your courage, man. Do something besides talk. History is calling you. Answer or shut up.

  3. Jamie Ross says:

    Glad to hear the prez thinks “we’re going to have a role to play” in dealing with this most dangerous threat.

    Imagine it’s Dec. 8, 1941: “People, yesterday was a date that will live in infamy. And yes, once our understanding of what happened is irrefutable, we’re definitely going to have a role to play here.”

  4. Henry says:

    What does “CYA” stand for?

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    Obama is just acknowledging the obvious. He doesn’t run this country, and neither does Congress. The oil companies do. There is no other explanation for the President of the United States habitually approaching them as a supplicant (as with fracking regs, Keystone analysis, carbon tax, increasing drilling everywhere, etc).

    He is not only the wrong man for the job, we couldn’t even “make him do it”. Obama may be from Chicago, but his heart belongs to Dallas and Wall Street. It’s beyond horrifying, in light of the consequences.

    • Sasparilla says:

      Well said Mike.

      Makes one wonder if Obama won’t really do anything via the EPA directly on climate change until the very last year of his administration so nothing is done, can be reversed by the next administration, but for history he can say he “did” stuff.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      I hate to disagree, Mike, but Chicago is Obama’s home town, no doubt about it. He fits into the milieu, as a servant, of course, like a pea in a pod. Just think Rahm Emanuel and Penny Pritzker, his great ‘patron’, rewarded as Secretary of Commerce.

      • Artful Dodger says:

        No, Barack in from Honolulu. Michelle is from Chicago. The President met her there after graduating from Harvard Law.

        How does this advance the discussion? You will not get a more reasonable POTUS. If you can’t work with him, what makes you think you can do better with anybody else?

        And if you are resigned to be negative, perhaps you should attack the SOURCE of the problem, which is money in politics and the strangle-hold held by fossil fuels.

        Unless you’re afraid of the good fight, that is… ;^)

        Cheers!
        Lodger

  6. Joan Savage says:

    “..we can choose to believe,” he says.

    Those folk in Barnhart, Texas, don’t have much of a choice about what to believe about water.

  7. BobbyL says:

    Based on two presidential elections there appears to be an inverse relationship between the duration of time after winning the election and how aggressive Obama is about fighting climate change. Perhaps as he leaves the world of voters and becomes immersed in the world of lobbyists it affects his determination.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Lobby world is the real Obama. Voter world is pure ‘Rope a Dope’, to enable Lobby world. A brief hiatus, a few weeks of confidence-trickery, then four more years of serving his Masters.

      • Sasparilla says:

        I wish it weren’t so Mulga, considering how cynical it is, but I think you speak the truth here…

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Unfortunately, Sasparilla, it isn’t cynical anymore. Just as satire died when they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Kissinger, as Tom Lehrer observed, so too did cynicism die long ago. Also deceased are shame and guilt, euthanased by Rightwing politicians and the MSM. Regret, alas, is thriving.

      • BobbyL says:

        If only he would listen more to the Sierra Club lobbyists we would get somewhere.

  8. David Goldstein says:

    Thanks for the summary, Joe. There were a few of us commenting here at the time that we thought it highly unlikely that Obama would take substantive action, including on Keystone. He is not a bold visionary for the most part. He is a conciliator. He is a capitalist and will not rock the boat when it comes to disturbing growth capitalism, or even putting forth the appearance of disturbance. And, no matter what anyone says to the contrary, substantive climate action WILL disturb growth capitalism- it may not derail it, but ‘retro-fitting’ the growth economy as it is with ‘green replacement’ is a pipe-dream. Yes, of course (and now) bring on the wind and solar and geo and tidal, etc….but ultimately this will require a paradigm shift toward simplicity and reduction. Obama is not the man for the job (nor will any elected president be until the climate disturbances get much worse- imho ). We are all going to be ‘mostly disappointed’ for a while to come- BUT, this does not mean giving up.

  9. Mike Roddy says:

    This shocked even me:

    http://gawker.com/texas-says-its-ok-to-shoot-an-escort-if-she-wont-have-511636423

    These are the kinds of people who are running this country. DC might as well be a suburb of Dallas. They can’t believe their luck that we are not even putting up a fight.

  10. David Moore says:

    I believe Obama has slowed down the KXL project giving the activists more time to lead which he won’t do. I also believe that this pipeline is small potatoes compared to oil fracking in North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, etc. Its also small potatoes compared to coal exports from the Powder River basin federal lands to Asia. Don’t mourn, organize!

    • David Goldstein says:

      This seem like a quibble, David, but…you wrote “Don’t mourn, organize!” I think I get it- don’t let our grief over what is happening stop us from taking action to make it better. And…I AM mourning. In the arena of climate action and many other areas of environmental degradation, many precious beings- humans, ‘animals’ and plants – are suffering and dying due to our actions. I feel this and so I mourn. As a climate activist and as a human I am discovering that acknowledging my grief and feeling it through mourning keeps me sane, it keeps me honest and, ultimately (and paradoxically) it refreshes me and allows me to act in the world with more energy, compassion and creativity if I give it the space and time that it needs. I am finding that ‘mourning’ and taking action are not mutually exclusive- quite to the contrary! Thanks for listening.

  11. Jeff Huggins says:

    People! People! Move and shake!

    The more I think about it — and I hope you all with think about it too — the more I realize that we should make a much greater use of the Direct Approach to prompt movers and shakers to move and shake.

    Or, to put it another way, we should move and shake in order to prompt them to move and shake.

    Consider the two top folks at CAP: Neera Tanden and John Podesta. If you haven’t already done so, read their bios carefully. (And see my earlier comment, Comment 1.)

    These folks have extensive — and I mean extensive — experience working directly for and with Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, in roles that imply closeness and trust and inside familiarity. They are only “one degree” of separation from Hillary and Bill — perhaps as close as you can get without being family members or close college chums.

    So then, we should place much more focus on encouraging (and pushing if necessary) Joe and Ryan and etc. to work with and through Neera and John to prompt and help Hillary and Bill to get their acts together with respect to climate change in all possible ways. Period! This point should require no more explanation than that, assuming readers here are both intelligent and creative and deeply concerned about climate change.

    My goodness, often we act as though the only or best way to move the needle on climate change — and get our leaders off their duffs — is to influence the broad media to do a better job in order to improve the broad public’s understanding about climate change, in order to prompt the politicians (who too many people pretend not to know well) to do something. It’s as if we are saying this: “Let’s find a way to influence the public on a broad basis in order to ‘make him (the President) do it’, when ‘it’ is what he promised to do in the first place.” Talk about a broad and indirect approach!

    How about leveraging, and pushing, much more direct approaches, prompting the people in those direct-relationship chains to get with it, get their acts together, show Real Leadership, or else get out of the way and realize they’ll lose our support?

    We know this much: We are here. Joe and Ryan and etc. are at CAP. Neera Tanden and John Podesta are CAP’s leaders. Neera Tanden and John Podesta have extensive experience and presumably/likely close relationships with Hillary and Bill, or at least access to them on a “one degree of separation” basis (to apply that terminology). Joe, Neera, and others at CAP also appear periodically on the liberal/progressive news shows, some of which are beginning to recognize that it’s time for them to get much more serious about climate change. All of this should speak for itself in terms of the possibilities and necessity of putting more Direct Approaches to work, to influence people to do what needs to be done.

    But WE must ask for it, and demand it. WE HERE. The seven of us, and others who will be reading our comments.

    Let’s ask what CAP is doing via direct relationships and influences to face and remedy the huge blockages and mind-numbing inaction presently within the Democratic party and (thus) liberal politics. Let’s make sure that Hillary Clinton, and other would-be Democratic nominees for president, and Democratic party leadership, all deeply understand that we won’t take it any more and that we will only support a candidate who is credible, committed, clear, compelling, outspoken, and courageous with respect to climate change and how she/he will address it if elected.

    And let’s start NOW.

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  12. Deep Time says:

    What a fraud and a disappointment. Gives lip service to people like us and then placates his corporate masters.

  13. Raul M. says:

    Oops, there he goes again trying to give the people constructive directions to take action. Agreed that baby steps are too slow and motion toward comprehension of climate is long overdue.

  14. rollin says:

    Spouting nonsense is a bad indicator for any future action, sounds too much like the other party.
    Looks like the deals are in and the compromise is already on the table:”we’re not going to be able to make those changes solely through a bunch of individual decisions that are made. We’re going to have to make some collective decisions about how much do we care about this when the science is irrefutable.”.
    So I would not expect a hard environmental line, more like a wet noodle approach.
    It’s everyone for themselves.

  15. Doug Grandt says:

    I dunno, Joe … I read this as an ultimatum, and interpret the “when” as “now that” … so the sentence in question would read this way:

    We’re going to have to make some collective decisions about how much do we care about this when NOW THAT the science is irrefutable.

    As for the follow-up — “And that means government is going to have a role to play …. We’re going to have a role to play” — to me the phrase “going to have a role to play” feels more like “had better get off our ass and get with the program.”

    If not, his CYA is grass, so to speak.

  16. Ben Lieberman says:

    The idea that the evidence is not yet irrefutable is ridiculous.

  17. Brian R Smith says:

    Great to be here with the President for the 5th annual Global Warming Carnival & Sideshow. Right now he’s enjoying the traditional ride with legislators, policy wonks and the press on his favorite, the Meltdown Merry-Go-Round. Nobody has actually reached for the brass ring this time and it appears nausea may be a problem for some of the progressives on board. Anyway, everyone agrees the calliope donated by ALEX and Americans for Prosperity is, well, loud. Earlier, a booth run by the Bake Sale for Climate Sanity people tried to give the President free tickets for the Beltway Bumper Cars where the real action is, but he declined saying he didn’t want to appear to be advocating all-electric vehicles over others. It was also a policy decision that it would be unseemly for the President to enter the House of Climate Disruption Horrors, or to visit the Goodbye to American Agriculture pavilion with its smell of decay and small farm foreclosures. Instead the President will demonstrate his aim at the Bully Pulpit Shooting Gallery where confidence in his ability to hit game winning targets has waned since last year. So it’s nice he can finish up a long day in the heat with a round of Miniature Accomplishment Golf. Try the wedge.

    • Brian R Smith says:

      So here’s the latest from the Koch disinformation machine as reported in the Guardian

      US ultra-conservatives target carbon tax in online advertising campaign

      Series of adverts by Americans for Prosperity target Democratic senators and aim to block action on climate change

      “Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the ultra-conservative group funded by the Koch oil billionaires, is launching a series of adverts that target Democratic senators and aim to block action on climate change.

      The online-only campaign was created with the specific purpose of defeating moves to make polluters pay for the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

      AFP said on its website: “Over the next several weeks, the online ads will alert activists to urge their lawmakers to block carbon taxes, support domestic production, and get government out of the way of abundant, affordable energy sources.”

      It’s a typical day at the Public Relations races. The Koch horse, I Will Eat Your Lunch, is the six-to-one track favorite and lookin good in in the far turn. Not a contender today is the climate lobby’s hopeful gelding, Wait For Me!, a likable but apparently confused entry who, by golly folks, has failed to make out of the gate. This could be a cunning ploy ala the tortoise & the hare, but the winners circle? Not today.

      • Sasparilla says:

        Brian I have to salute what you wrote, that last paragraph in particular was classic.

        Been waiting to see the Koch’s start going after the Democratic side of things…hopefully they don’t get any traction.

        If I may be so bold, I’d add that the jockey for “Wait for Me!” was “Both Sides of his Mouth” Obama, who attempted to ride the horse out of the gate backwards, resulting in immediate disqualification and years of not being able to even try to compete according to the EPA CO2 Emission riding judges.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Why not parody them, set up ‘Americans for Extinction’ and crowd-source the loot to launch an advertising campaign, with ads like ‘Grand-kids are Overrated’, ‘What did my Great-grandkids ever do for me?’ or ‘Hot as Hell? Who cares? I’m dead, and Loving it!’ etc

        • Brian R Smith says:

          Pure genius. But why quarrel over money? 50/50. You take the merchandising and I will get The Capital Steps to do the musical based on the t shirts. “My girlfriend is really hot, thanks to global warming”..”Plants & animals, who needs ‘em? Support mountain top removal!” This could work.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            Brian, I smell money, piles of lovely moolah. I am, myself, not necessarily terminally materialistic, so I will pick up my share (in gold coins only) while wearing gloves. It’s so much nicer that way. This musical might outdo ‘The Producers’, in tastefulness.

          • Brian R Smith says:

            Changed my mind, I want it all.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            I salute your ‘entrepreneurship’! See you in Court.

  18. bedfordfalls says:

    Re. “When the science” blah blah, maybe Obama meant it in the sense of “since;” sort of as it’s used in “When in the course of human events,” etc.

    I shall now duck.

  19. M Tucker says:

    Did you see Chris Hayes on MSNBC last night? He talks about climate change all the time. He does not pull punches. He does not present false equivalence. For Chris “hurricane season is a good time to talk about climate change.” Here is a partial transcript. I fixed a few errors in the transcript published on MSNBC, hope I got most of them.

    “…this is the president, last week, on the eve of hurricane season in the situation room. He’s being briefed by Homeland Security , FEMA and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. They’re in the room where Obama watched the Bin Laden raid and he is being briefed on the upcoming hurricane season because it is no longer just part of your local weather outlook. It is now a situation room worthy threat to the country. We all need to get used to that because that is the era we’ve entered into right now, already begun. Our most recent big disaster hurricane Sandy killed 170 people and caused more than $50 billion in damage, that’s billion with a b. It wasn’t a one-off freak event, the kind of disaster that will happen again and again because of the carbon we put in the atmosphere and are continuing to put in. we are now entering the first stages of the disaster years. That’s what they’ll call it when the history books are written, the time when the uncommon became common. Just last week, NOAA predicted a far more active than normal hurricane season with 13 to 20 named storms. Keep in mind last year they predicted 9 to 15 named storms and we got 19. When NOAA explained their prediction for this year’s extremely active hurricane season they cited warmer than average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. More carbon in the air and warmer water equals bigger and more frequent storms. You can see, as the planet climbed past 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the average number of named storms in the Atlantic has shot up over the last two of decades. There are more of them and they are getting stronger and they are showing up earlier too. Between 1966 and 2009 the average date of the first named storm was July 9th . The past four years, including this one, we have named the first storm in June and May. Tropical storm Andrea was early and thankfully doesn’t look like it will be that bad. We may not be that lucky when the storms named Barry and Chantal and Dorian Erin and Ferdinand are done with us. As you watch the coverage on other channels, you should know I will be covering those storms, too. I will cover them as if they’re some kind of random independent acts of fate, I will cover them as what they are, a scientific result of what we are doing to this planet and the planet we’re giving to our children.”

    So the President got his briefing and he knows what we are doing to the planet and what we are leaving to our children, his children. Yet he continues to delay and talk. Besides the CYA comment I think this comment “We’re going to have to make some collective decisions about how much do we care about this…” says Make Me Do Something. He seems to be asking for strong grass roots support for action. He seems to be asking, “Where are the hecklers on this issue?” He is a follower not a leader. He needs a powerful kick in the backside on this. He also seems to be saying that if we do not have protesters and hecklers and strong demonstrations we will continue with BAU.

    You can see the full segment of the Chris Hayes piece here:
    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52127032#52127032

  20. Sasparilla says:

    Excellent post Joe, speaking the truth. This is a bit of a coupe de grace on Obama’s part – not just being silent on climate change, he’s now actively used the denier’s language (giving up the facade perhaps?). Besides the XL, what does this portend?

    Brings to mind a question – at the Federal Level, other than a few individuals, is most of the Democratic party in D.C. actually bought off on climate change action and we just don’t realize it?

    As Mike Roddy pointed out, whether its climate change or Wall Street regulation (too big to fail banks are even bigger now), Wall Street prosecutions, secret wiretapping and spying on U.S. citizens, torture – this President has chosen the wrong side of history, morality & fallen down every time, such a shame.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Well, I expect greater betrayals, for sure. The bedrock reality is that fossil fuels underpin capitalism. The tens of trillions of ‘assets’ enable the whole superstructure, culminating in Obama’s real owners, the financial kleptomaniacs. Fossil fuels riches are more precious to Obama’s owners than mere billions of ‘useless eaters’. Obama’s last role is to ensure Democratic losses at the mid-terms, then two years of even greater betrayals while ‘reaching out’ to the Reptilicans.

      • prokaryotes says:

        Or maybe he knows something we don’t. For instance imminent WAIS ice sheet disintegration (next 5 years) or something like that.

        But probably he is just overwhelmed by the tasks and the political intrige. The problem is not 1 president it is the entire civilized system which was build on environmental destruction. Everybody is part of the problem and i cannot see a lot of motivation for change – most people seem happy to buy the denier claims and keep driving their SUV’s.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Don’t give in to despair, pro. The forces driving us to destruction may yet be destroyed themselves, or, perhaps- mirabile dictu!-they might even re-animate their human consciences, after euthanasing them a few thousand years ago. Dead souls coming back to life. That’s a zombie movie worth making, and watching.

  21. Paul Magnus says:

    “act before it’s too late.” I think he thinks its too late.

    Why does he not form a high profile, possibly, bipartisan task force which has the clout and mandate to recommend and in act specific policy.

    This has got to come at some point anyway and then he is visibly working with this 3rd party group to implement recommend wide reaching policy. I just dont get it.

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Obama, Biden Parroting Bogus Gas Industry Talking Points

    For several years, both President Obama and Vice President Biden have been singing the praises of natural gas and hydraulic fracturing, claiming that the upcoming “cheap energy boom” would bring hundreds of thousands of jobs to work-hungry Americans.

    The claim, which reached the most ears during the President’s 2012 State of the Union Address and was parroted throughout the campaign season, was that the new shale gas bonanza would bring 600,000 new jobs to America over the next decade. With job creation as a top campaign issue, this talking point resonated well with American voters.

    And while the talking point was blindly reprinted by countless media outlets, the source has been traced back to the dirty energy industry itself. Specifically, a 2012 shale gas / fracking booster sheet produced by the American Petroleum Institute. http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/05/12/obama-biden-parroting-bogus-industry-talking-points

    • prokaryotes says:

      But the numbers within the claim don’t add up. And when the entire picture of the shale gas industry is taken into context, you see why.

      The majority of those 600,000 jobs already exist, and job stats in the shale fields aren’t matching their rosy forecast. There will not be 600,000 new jobs, even by the industry’s own admission.

      As it turns out, the shale gas boom has actually been a bust for job creation. While it’s true that 36,000 natural gas jobs were added around the country over the last 2 years, the industry wasn’t happy about the fact that the increased production drove down the price of natural gas, so the country is now on track to lose 72,000 natural gas jobs in the coming year.

      Apparently the dirty energy industry forgot the most basic concept within macro economics: When supply goes up and demand goes down, prices plummet. And that’s exactly what has happened with shale gas in America right now.

      It appears unlikely that many of those “600,000 jobs” will actually materialize in America, but that hasn’t stopped the President and Vice President from repeating the industry’s talking points, which is enough for them to be able to declare victory on this issue, while the American people are once again live with the fracking mess.

      • Ken Barrows says:

        You do know the NG has risen in price about 80% over the last year?

        • prokaryotes says:

          Not until now, but why is Desmoblog writing this? (Article is 3 weeks old) Further does this really increase demand? And still the number of 600k jobs doesn’t seem to fit and natural gas is not a bridge fuel.

        • prokaryotes says:

          Reason for higher prices are not demand related

          Refinery woes pushing Midwestern gas prices to all-time highs

          “It’s amazing what problems refinery issues can cause,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com. “If another refinery went down, all hell would break loose.
          http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2013/05/16/midwest-great-lakes-regions-driving-national-gas-prices-higher/2166845/

          So what does this mean? I think it means that gas has become even more unattractive.

          • Sasparilla says:

            Prokaryotes, guessing here, but I think you might have gotten gas (gasoline) and natural gas in the U.S. press mixed up (natural gas doesn’t use refineries).

            Natural Gas prices, local to the U.S. since its price is local to the country, have risen more than 100% since Dec 2011 as they recover from a massive fracking production bubble. Natural Gas in the U.S. has fallen some recently (because of how cold it is in the midwest..no air conditioning power plants) but is just below $4MMBtu, if it rises (another 50%) to ~$6.50 MMBtu it’ll have achieved price parity with gasoline.

            Now gasoline in the midwest (Illinois where I live for example) has been exceptionally high because the guys running the refineries seem to be gaming the system and so we’ve got gasoline prices ~ $4.30 gallon near where I live even though we are oversupplied with oil from Canada and fracking.

          • prokaryotes says:

            Ahh, thanks for pointing this out Sasparilla :-)

            Gas != Gas

  23. BobbyL says:

    Yet more evidence why Rocky Anderson was the best choice for president in 2012.

  24. fj says:

    Climate change is going to tank the economy no matter what and this country must start building a resilient net zero society at wartime speed.

    This will be during Obama’s term, and he is playing to lose.

  25. Merrelyn Emery says:

    More disasters are inevitable so I hope she aims the next one directly at the capitol building on a sitting day – no fatalities, just a bit of a shake up might help, ME

  26. David says:

    “Where’s the beef” Mr President – say no to Keystone! http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOyy3jq-Y6B0xASUBPwOdBegFEY8LFroG

  27. ltr says:

    What sadness, how tragic, but this is the unfortunate President Obama I have come to understand on issue after issue.

  28. Looking at the USA from the outside it appears that you have a broken political system. There are so many checks and balances that nothing gets done. Far to many politicians are having to be bought off to get their vote and its a system that leads to corruption.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The US Founding Fathers, who were the rich men of the colonies, intended that nothing could be done, by the rabble, without the assent of the owners. As John Jay, first Chief Justice allegedly used to say, ‘Those people who own this country are going to run this country’. That holds true for all capitalist states, including NZ, where the billionaires took over direct, dispensing with lickspittle intermediaries.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Corruption is an inherent potential in rep dems because they create career politicians who have the opportunity to pay back ‘favours’. Add in a high value on ‘private enterprise’ and away you go, ME